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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In search of "The religion of today": Part 3/4 - Is religion a deception?

In this series of blogs posts we are searching for The Religion of Today—a scientific view... This is Part 3. Click here to view previous and future posts in this series.

Definition of deception

Deception can be defined as an illusion. It can also carry a more negative connotation of being a misleading falsehood or lie related to deceit; a misrepresentation meant to delude. A deception attempts to convince one that something is present or true based on faulty evidence or even a total lack of evidence.

Are beliefs in God and religion a deception?

Through the history of mankind, there have been countless deceptions carried out regarding this or that set of beliefs about God and practices related to His worship. Many innocent and sincere people have been misled and deceived by a teacher or preacher or leader who unscrupulously or perhaps unknowingly cheated his or her followers. In some cases the teacher was sincere but was ignorantly propagating a deception he had blindly learned. The history of religion is replete with examples of the blind leading the blind leading the blind leading the blind—sometimes for generations. Does this mean that there are only blind deceivers teaching about God? Of course not. It means that one must be quite cautious.

Sometimes people are bred into a religious or cultural deception. Sometimes it is only the inner longings of one's hungry heart that awakens one to question what one has been taught. So questioning one's beliefs is good. Enquiring about the source of one's religious teachings is good. Being on guard for deception is useful. It is not wise, however, to disregard all thoughts about God and religion because of the possibility of deception.

Four kinds of religions

There are thousands of religions in the world but all of them are not Divine. They are not even pious. According to the qualities of maya (tamas/evil or materialistic, rajas/worldly, and sattvic/pious) there are three kinds of mayic religions, and one is the Divine religion.
  1. Evil religions are those which introduce the worship of spirits, ghosts or devil worship, or worship of an imaginary god with strange rituals or sacrifices done individually or in a group, in a lonely place or in a house. Apart from that, any religion that introduces a non-Godly dogma in the name of God is a non-Godly or a materialistic religion. These religions are all filled with deceptions and and faulty beliefs. 
  2. Worldly religions are those which introduce prayer, worship or rituals related to a single form or many forms of god or goddess with a hope of fulfilling the worldly desires. Because of their worldly and selfish nature, these religions can tend towards deceptive beliefs and practices even among very sincere practitioners and leaders. Any religion that teaches any form of worship for family welfare, even if it uses the form of a Divine God or Goddess, it surely comes into the materialistic category.
  3. Pious religions are those which relate to some sort of practice or worship to improve and develop the pious qualities of a person, like the religion of yoga or gyan if it is practiced selflessly. Also the selfless good doings of any kind, or selfless observance of Vedic rituals, or observing the routine or discipline of prideless pure living, or following any procedure or practice to purify the heart to gain renunciation so as to enable a person to proceed on the true path of God realization, come in the category of pious practices.
  4. Divine religions are those that teach the pure, humble and selfless devotion to any Divine form of God without any prejudice. (But if they enter into the religious politics of showiness and criticisms, it becomes a worldly religion.)
What are the intuitions?

Some people, out of ignorance, call their intuitions as a suggestion of God. They may even start a new religion or ‘spiritual’ organization based on their self-deceptions. But you should know that intuitions are also of three kinds, tamas, rajas and sattvic which are related to the three kinds of people, evil, normal and pious. They are only the vivid reflections of your own subconscious mind which are induced by the conditioned reflexes of your own past lives’ actions called the sanskars. That’s how sometimes a person feels that his intuitions have guided him, but, in fact, they are just the stronger subconscious thoughts that emerge into your conscious mind.

Fact and Faith

Most of the people believe that if they are sincere in their deeds and are faithfully following a path, it may lead them to God, but it is not true. Faith has its own quality and fact has its own status. You cannot change iron into gold by faithfully worshipping it. One thing you must know is that the depth of your faith opens up a channel to receive the innate quality of that religion or person you are following or worshipping. If it is a worldly religion, you receive only materiality through it because your faithfulness has opened up a link between your subtle mind and the underlying material qualities of the minds of the promoters of that religion. So, slowly and continuously your subconscious mind is being fed with such mayic qualities but your conscious mind, in the ardor of your faithfulness, fails to comprehend it, until it is too late. For similar reasons if a person faithfully follows a religious teacher or a narrator of the stories of Ram and Krishna, etc., his mind will absorb the mental qualities of the teacher or the narrator, whatever it may be, deceptive, hypocritical, malicious, evil, worldly, sensuous, pious, Divine or devotional; because the speech contains the inner personality of the speaker. So, give it a thought, and follow the true path of Divine worship which is described in the upcoming part 4, The Religion of Today—a reality.

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